Trestle Creek is a sanctuary that provides some of the best bull trout habitat in the Lake Pend Oreille watershed, historically representing nearly 50% of spawning sites. Along 10 miles of creek, and dozens of tributaries, the waters of Trestle Creek provide important habitat for Westslope cutthroat-trout and other aquatic species, offer diverse recreational opportunities, and it’s one of the few places where families can easily observe spawning bull trout and kokanee. Bull trout are classified as a “threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act, development is listed as one of the top threats to bull trout habitat in Trestle Creek, and the state of Idaho and other partners recently invested in efforts to restore habitat in the stream.
A large private marina and luxury housing development would forever undermine the sanctuary at the mouth of Trestle Creek and is being pushed forward again by the Idaho Club. This private club, known for its golf course and gated community nearby on the lower Pack River, has long sought to develop the mouth of Trestle Creek, raising significant concerns from the local community and fishery experts.
After its permit was revoked earlier this year in response to litigation filed by the Idaho Conservation League and the Center for Biological Diversity, the new proposal again threatens critically important fish habitat and undermines the unique undeveloped beauty of the area.
What’s being proposed?
The current proposal calls for the construction of 105 fixed-pier docks and five luxury homes, while eliminating an entire island and “filling in” habitat on the lakeshore and mouth of the creek with 10,410 cubic yards of gravel and dirt. The proposed marina and residential development is similar to the prior proposal, although the proposed boat ramp and a small number of docks have been removed.
Because portions of the project are below the ordinary high water mark, in order to approve the marina and waterfront development, the Idaho Club must show that the project is in the public interest. Since it would only benefit residents and owners of the Idaho Club, it’s hard to fathom how this could be justified?
Time’s running out!
We have an opportunity right now to raise our objections to this harmful proposal that would serve a few individuals to the detriment of threatened bull trout and other aquatic species, the entire Pend Oreille watershed, and the public interest. The Idaho Department of Lands needs to hear from you about the proposed marina and shoreline alterations before the deadline on July 28th. Please join us by taking action today!
Keep an eye out for upcoming comment opportunities with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Idaho Department of Water Resources for aspects of the development that they oversee. ICL will continue to monitor the situation, keep you informed, and do all we can to protect Trestle Creek. To stay updated on this work and future opportunities to take action, sign up for our email updates.